Body adorners are flocking to acquire the newest retro feature – the verruca. Once associated with shallow pools of municipal disinfectant in chilly swimming baths, the new version verucca is more likely to be seen poolside in Bel Air or St Tropez. Among those “wearing the wart”, which is insider slang for having a new verruca, are Benedict Cumberbatch, Myley Cyrus, Jack Nicholson, Scarlett Johannsen and even Hazel Blears.
“I got mine on a whim,” Daniel Radcliffe wrote in Hogwarts, his new column for FHM magazine. “I saw it advertised in a magazine in LA and thought, I have to have one.” Rhianna has gone one better, with matching verrucas on both feet. “To be accurate, the plural is veruccae,” said Stephen Fry at an awards ceremony in New York. “I haven’t got a new one, but I have kept three from my time at Public School, and they will all go to auction for charity.”
Caitlin Moran remembers being forced as a teenager to go swimming in the early eighties, edging her way round the perimeter of council disinfectant, slipping and twisting her ankle and ending up having her temperature taken anally by a “rogue” school nurse. “I ended up with a fantastic verruca which I’d have to pay thousands for today, as well as an insight into the kind of abuse I plan to incorporate in my new novel,” she told the three readers behind the Times pay wall.
“The ultimate designer verruca will cost over $10,000”, said Luigi Versace, a junior member of the fashion dynasty that has propelled verruca plantaris (to give it its proper name) into the limelight. The Versacciuca® can be shaped into a flower, a heart, a star or a small vegetable marrow, and can be freeze dried and transplanted to the forehead or nose.
“People are now flocking to have their labial studs, tattoos, penile rings, botox bottoms and cranial axes removed,” said Jeremy Smith of Body Art magazine. “We’re saying arrivederci vajazzle in our hundreds as the verruca goes viral, and finally finds its feet among those who really know about fashion.”